Sports has plenty of villains. You can’t really blame them because sports tells a story and any good story has an antagonist. A lot of times these hero and villains tags are a result of rivalries. Most people worship Jordan, but as a lifelong Pistons fan, I can’t stand the guy. I may not like him but I don’t doubt his abilities as an athlete and his dedication to playing the game and he played the game the right way. That can’t be said for all of the athletes that might wear the tag of villain. Some of them are real scumbags. They do things that sully their reputations and the game as a whole. Here are some of the biggest scumbag moments in sports history.
Mike Tyson takes a bite
This will forever be engrained in my mind as the one time my family bought a pay-per-view boxing match. Thanks to Mike Tyson, we never did it again. It was a rematch between Tyson and Evander Holyfield. Holyfield had won the first match in an upset and Tyson was looking to exact some revenge. What unfolded was a complete joke. Tyson got worked pretty good in the first two rounds and by round three, the pressure was beginning to get to him. 40 seconds into the round, Holyfield got Tyson in a clinch and Tyson went on to show the world just how mentally unhinged he was at that point in his life. He bit off a large chunk of Holyfield’s right ear, which began to bleed. After determining that he could continue the fight, Holyfield had his left ear bitten by Tyson. They finished the round but the fight was stopped after that and Tyson was disqualified. “Iron” Mike went on to get kicked out of boxing for a year and was fined $3 million. He probably should have just taken that knockout like a man, but at least he has since apologized to and befriended Evander Holyfield.
Luis Suarez does his best Tyson impression
Another biting incident. What is it with these guys? Actually Uruguayan footballer, Luis Suarez, is something of a serial offender when it comes to biting his opponents. He has had three separate incidents of biting including one in the World Cup that landed him a four-month ban. The biting always happens during moments of frustration or bad play and he claims that it is some sort of release valve. I claim that he is a dip shit. To see someone with that much talent, on that big of a stage venting his frustrations like that is embarrassing. Just like Tyson, he has proven that he is weak willed and working out some issues. How about you close your vampire mouth and help your team win the game, not get yourself ejected.
Tonya Harding is scared she will lose
Crazy things happen when people are competing in competitive contact sports. Tempers flare and mistakes can be made. Just ask Suarez and Tyson. But how diabolical do you have to be to try to take your opponent out of the game before the contest has even begun? That’s exactly what Tonya Harding did in 1994 when she, along with her ex-husband, arranged to have Nancy Kerrigan assaulted and unable to compete against her. Harding wanted to be the top skater and instead she got banned from US Figure Skating for life. She avoided a jail sentence by pleading to a lesser charge but four other people served time for their roles in the assault on Kerrigan. The injuries to Kerrigan’s leg kept her out of the National Championships but she recovered in time to be selected to the Olympic team that year along with Harding. Kerrigan went on to win silver and Harding came in 8th place. She ruined her career through her cowardice and still lost to Kerrigan.
The Black Sox
This is perhaps the scummiest thing to ever happen in all of the history of organized sports. Baseball is sacred in America, the national pastime. So the idea of rigging the World Series seems unholy and wrong, but in 1919 that’s exactly what happened. The Chicago White Sox faced the Cincinnati Reds, who would win the series in eight games (this was one of four years in baseball history that the World Series was nine games). Noted gangster, Arnold Rothstein, was involved in the plot for the Sox to throw the series and eight players on the team were banned from baseball for either helping throw games or having knowledge of the fix. The plot was born out of discontent with ownership but it went on to sully the sport, the players and the team that was known thereafter as the Black Sox.
If you ever have kids you should tell them about all of these people when you teach them what sportsmanship is all about. Make sure they know that this is not how you want conduct yourself. With any luck they will listen to you. These incidents are bad but do you have any other scumbag moments that you love to hate? Leave them in the comments section below.